Several Greek coastal shipping firms have resorted to chartering their ferries on foreign routes in order to secure some liquidity and continue operating. Companies believe that their smooth operation is being threatened by the negative course of the domestic maritime transport market as losses over the last three years have reached up to 1 billion euros.
Sources say that at least three ferry companies have chartered their vessels on routes outside Greece in the last few years. They are ANEK, Hellenic Seaways (HSW) and Maritime Company of Lesvos (NEL).
?Chartering lasts between a few months and one year and is implemented in order for ferry companies to secure some cash, as besides their social contribution, they also constitute a business activity that needs to turn a profit to survive,? a source from the Association of Greek Coastal Shipping Companies (SEEN) told Kathimerini.
Based on the available information, NEL has chartered its Panagia Parou and Panagia Thalassini ferries on the route linking Morocco with Spain. The two vessels were built at the Leroux